In this round of Friday Reads, we hear from two poets whose work was featured in Issue 23 of The Common. Read on for mini reviews of an imaginative and timely poetry collection and essays on the transportive power of that genre.
Applications are now open for The Common Young Writers Program, which offers two two-week, fully virtual summer classes for high school students (rising 9-12). Students will be introduced to the building blocks of fiction and learn to read with a writer’s gaze. Taught by the editors and editorial assistants of Amherst College’s literary magazine, the summer courses (Level I and Level II) run Monday-Friday and are open to all high school students (rising 9-12). The program runs July 25-August 5.
The cost of the two-week program is $725 for Level I, and $875 for Level II. Full and partial need-based tuition waivers are available for both levels; we hope that no student will let financial difficulty prevent them from applying. Tuition waivers will be awarded to students with strong applications who cannot attend the program without financial assistance. In the application, students will have the opportunity to briefly describe their financial circumstances and state the amount they could afford to pay, if any, if accepted into the program. No tax returns or other documentation is required.
We are thrilled to announce that “The Old Man of Kusumpur,” written by Amar Mitra and translated from the Bengali by Anish Gupta, has been selected for the O. Henry Prize for 2022. The story was originally published in The Common Online. An anthology of the winning stories, edited by Valeria Luiselli, will be released this September from Anchor.
This is the first year the O. Henry Prize series has considered fiction in translation. In the prize announcement, series editor Jenny Minton Quigley writes, “If stories give us a window through which to momentarily enter the soul of another person, then translated stories magically transcend the limits of the language that has shaped our consciousness.“
View the full list of winners and read more about the prize at LitHub.
Congratulations to Amar, Anish, and all the winners!
“The Old Man of Kusumpur” Wins O. Henry Prize 2022
Both of the Tomaž Šalamun poems in this feature come from books published in the early 1970s: “On the border” first appeared in Amerika (1972), and “Trieste” first appeared in Arena (1973). “On the border” demonstrates Šalamun’s newfound engagement with the United States (he was a fellow at Iowa’s International Writing Program from 1971 to 1972), while “Trieste” is set in a city that Šalamun knew well since it is about ten miles from his hometown of Koper.